When we think about ribs, we typically associate them with a low and slow cooking process. This cooking technique is appropriate for a slab because the gentle, long cook time breaks down the tough fibers making the ribs pull-apart tender. I love ribs prepared this way, but it means I need time on my side, and have to wait until the weekend.
With this easy recipe and shorter cooking time, making weeknight ribs is achievable! The end result is much different than your typical slab of ribs; this particular style produces a very savory and roast pork flavor with great texture.
The secret? Cut the slab of ribs into individual ribs. This alone considerably cuts down on the cook time. The best way I can describe this, is that each and every roasted rib resembles a miniature pork roast. I like to call them roasty riblets.
The next step is to season your ribs with the marinade and/or spices of your choice. My husband and I went the Italian route with garlic, lemon, rosemary and olive oil.
To streamline things, I poured the olive oil into a resealable bag and added the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and rosemary.
Using my hands, I evenly distributed the marinade and then added the ribs to the bag.
I massaged the marinade into the ribs, and allowed them to marinate for 30 minutes. If you have the time, marinate your ribs for 2 hours… the longer they sit in the marinade the more flavorful they will be.
I spread the individual ribs out on a foil-lined sheet tray, and roasted them, turning once during cooking, until they were golden brown and crisp all over. This took a total of about 1 hour.
Once they came out of the oven, they were ready to eat! It’s really as simple as that.
To continue with the Italian theme, I served the ribs with a side dish of pasta tossed with roasted vegetables and goat cheese. It was the perfect meal to eat during all of this cold and snow in Chicago!
The great thing about this recipe is that you can customize the ribs to your liking. Toss them with a BBQ spice rub, and then glaze them with BBQ sauce during the last 15 minutes of cooking. You can alternatively use Asian flavors such as ginger, garlic, sesame and chilies. Try a jerk rub on the ribs for some zing! Keep it simple with your favorite spice rub, or stick to just salt and pepper. The seasonings certainly impart flavors, but it’s the roasting of the meat that transforms the ribs and develops the flavor. The browning of food, known to chefs and food lovers as the Maillard reaction, is a chemical reaction between amino acids and carbohydrates that give roasted, grilled, toasted and seared foods their distinct flavor.
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Yield: 3-4 servings
Active time: 20 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour, 20 minutes
1 slab pork ribs, cut into individual riblets
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- Season the ribs with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a sealable bag, mix together the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and rosemary.
- Add the seasoned ribs to the bag, and massage the marinade into the ribs for even distribution. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, refrigerated.
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Place the ribs on a foil-lined sheet tray, and roast, turning once after 30 minutes, until they are golden brown and crispy, about an hour total.
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